Advocacy & Policy

NAEA Position Statement on Positive School Culture and Climate

[Adopted March 2016; Reviewed and Revised March 2019; April 2024]

NAEA believes there is an interdependent relationship between a supported high-quality visual arts education program and a positive school culture and climate. Certified/Licensed visual art educators play important leadership roles in building positive school culture and climate. The fundamental context for a school-based visual arts education program, including design and media arts, requires resources including:

  • Facilities designed to support the visual arts curriculum*
  • sufficient budget to support standards-based curriculum inclusive of a variety of media,
  • Time to deliver age-appropriate curriculum
  • Program-specific instructional materials, equipment, and resources (including access to technology)

Visual arts education impacts school culture and climate by:

  • increasing student attendance and student engagement
  • promoting a sense of belonging within the school
  • promoting personal expression and social-emotional learning thereby enhancing an understanding of cultural diversity,supporting mental health, and nurturing mutual respect
  • promoting innovation, collaboration, and creative problem-solving skills applicable to life-long learning
  • advocating for and supporting school and community relationships
  • facilitating interdisciplinary learning through an inclusive, supportive environment where students develop abilities to problem solve, take risks, develop a personal creative voice, collaborate, and reflect
  • building a sense of community within the school.

A positive school culture and climate supports visual arts education by:

  • Honoring students’ scheduled access to visual arts instruction
  • recognizing arts education as an integral part of a balanced education
  • fostering a creative atmosphere throughout the school
  • supporting creativity and innovation in teaching and learning
  • showcasing and valuing student success in the visual arts
  • encouraging diverse connections among people, subject areas, and ideas
  • respecting visual art educators as both teachers and artists
  • providing access to discipline-specific professional learning opportunities including instructional strategies to meet the needs of a diverse student body
  • valuing visual art educators as leaders in their discipline, schools, and communities


NAEA Position Statements:

NAEA Publications: